The Charlotte News
Tuesday, September 12, 1939
Site Ed. Note: It is unlikely that Cash wrote the piece, "Eli, Eli", taking to task syndicated columnist Heywood Broun. Unlikely because Cash, while obviously anything but fond of the regime of Joseph Stalin, would not usually denigrate anyone as being worse than Hitler. Just eleven days earlier in "A Fanatic Menaces Civilization", Cash had said, "
The Republicans Will Do Well To Avoid That
There is some question about the nature of the determined fight in which William Edgar Borah and his Republican colleagues announce they will put up against the repeal of the arms embargo.
Quite possibly, that is, it may be simply a gesture designed to save the face of Borah and, even more, those of the crew of Republicans numbering nearly the whole GOP membership in the Senate (with the prominent exception of Taft) who in July suddenly discovered that they were isolationists.
But it is possible, too, that these good men propose a filibuster. And if so they are preparing to put themselves into about as untenable position as any group of American legislators ever got into.
It is Borah's argument that he is making this fight because "American boys will inevitably follow American guns into the trenches." But it is a very well-known fact, of which Senator Borah himself cannot possibly be ignorant, that the materials for the making of guns, food, clothing, machines--that all these things are just as certainly weapons in modern war as are guns themselves. And the only way he can really square his position with logic is to say: "As surely as we sell the Allies anything at all, American boys will end in the trenches."
But does he say that? Far from it. On the contrary, he emphatically favors selling everything but arms--for the very good reason that he knows that the people of Idaho, not to say the people of the United States, would very quickly and powerfully resent it if he sought to cripple the United States after that fashion.
And as for most of his colleagues--the plain fact is that the dominating motive with them is partisanship.
There is no doubt at all that the neutrality law as at present written is anything else but neutral. What it really does is to deprive England of part of the advantages which are hers by reason of her sea power. And willy-nilly, to make us an aide of the Nazis! We shall be well within international law in repealing the arms embargo, as the President asks. And if it means that the brow-beating Nazis will inevitably kick up a war of words about it, the responsibility for that lies straight on the shoulders of Mr. Borah and his Republicans who refused to change the before war came, in the face of clear warnings from the State Department that it was coming.
Finally, there is no question that the American people want this law changed. The various polls show an overwhelming majority of them convinced (1) that Adolf Hitler is wholly to blame for starting this war, (2) that all our interests make it desirable for the Allies to win, and (3) that the arms embargo should be repealed.
And anybody who sets out to oppose this opinion by any such device as the filibuster is high-handed beyond sufferance.
This Neutrality Argument Puts Him Squarely On A Spot
With further reference to this oblique threat of filibuster against the sort of neutrality that the Administration wants and that the people evidently desire, it stands to reason that one of those who may be counted on to oppose it vociferously is none other than the Junior Senator from North Carolina, the Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds.
Accused of Fascist leanings himself (though a little less than justly, we have thought), Robert has always defended his Americanism by citing his hatred of Communism as the worst of two foreign evils. But now, with the snickering Reds snuggling up to the triumphant Nazis, and with supervision over aliens transferred, in effect, from the Immigration Department to the FBI, he has no alibi. Either he wants to help the Allies by going back to the traditional form of neutrality, or he wants to help Hitler by means of the rewritten neutrality.
If we know our man, and if he knows the sentiment of his constituents about neutrality as well he knew it when the repugnant Economy Act had to be voted on, he will come to heel. If not, and especially if he should participate in any filibuster against revision of the neutrality laws, we believe we know Tar Heelia well enough to guarantee that it will take care of him.
Comrade Broun Cries Out, "Lama Sabachthani?"
That was a sort of "Et Tu Brute" piece, that Comrade Heywood Broun delivered yesterday on the theme of the Soviet-Nazi Pact. Obviously he considered himself sold out--sold out that is, not as a human being by this weird flirtation of two unspeakable dictatorships, but sold out as a radical. Listen:
"There representatives from the workers' homeland--members of the Soviet military mission--were coming to meet in amity the man who said that when he came into power the heads of radicals would roll in the streets of Germany. And that is one part of Der Fuehrer's word which he did not betray... The man from Soviet Russia quite possibly would have been entertained by a tour around a concentration camp where the captives who followed Communist ideology lie festering."
When it comes to gruesome entertainment, Stalin's homeland is not lacking in sights and tales to chill the blood of visiting firemen. For slaughter and sheer downright animal cruelty, Hitler's regime can't hold a candle to that of Joseph Stalin. Where Hitler counts his assassinations by the hundreds, his Russian counterpart counts them by the thousands, and the victims of his merciless policies, as opposed to his direct enmity, by the hundreds of thousands.
But Heywood evidently is shock-proofed against murder in the name of radicalism. That's for the cause. It only serves the stupid oxen right. But when radical blood is let, his tears flow copiously.
Cotton And Tobacco Growers Left Behind By Prosperity
Booms in the corn and wheat country, with prices shooting up day by day last week, will be envied by Carolina farmers who saw cotton slide off with the Government's latest report and who heard tobacco sold for heart-breaking prices of 12 and 14 cents a pund.
Cotton growers, who raise a staple which the world no longer demands in any such abundance as the supply, are used to disappointment and have no fond recollections of recent prosperity. The North Carolina tobacco growers remember last year.
By this same date in 1938, the flue-cured belts had sold 415,000,000 pounds at an average price of $21.80 a hundred. So far this year, 405,000,000 pounds have been sold at $14.50, with hundreds of millions of pounds waiting to be marketed and with buyers of a British firm, who normally take a third of the high-priced tobacco, withdrawing completely from the scene.
As a result, tobacco growers are about to initiate another "holiday," with markets closed during conferences to see what can possibly be done. A crop-control referendum for 1940 has been proposed, but 1940 comes too late to have much effect on 1939's tobacco.
And so, at the moment, there is unrelieved gloom in the tobacco belts, and cotton belts are in their chronic dumps.
It Will Take More Than Pictures To Prove It
Yesterday, there appeared on the front page of The News a photograph of the Polish commander of the Westerplatte garrison leaning sadly on a sword. The cutlines informed us that the Nazis had allowed him to keep the sword out of admiration for his gallant defense.
To understand that picture, however, it must be understood that it was one deliberately sent out to the world by the German Government. Like others which issue from Germany, it is a piece of propaganda to make us think of the Nazis as chivalrous gentlemen.
And as for the Nazis, we do not need to pay any attention to the propaganda of England or France to know how to judge their chivalry. There is plenty of well-proved evidence from before the war. Guernica, the fortified Basque village in Spain, where German planes killed 700 helpless men, women and children, pursuing them through the streets and fields with machine-gun fire. Almeria, into which the German navy pumped shells for hours, to avenge the bombing of a German battleship with which that city had had nothing to do. And has anyone forgotten the case of the Jews and the concentration camps?
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